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franklin county times

Area champions

By Staff
No. 7 Russellville clinches 2nd straight area title, scores 32 runs in doubleheader win at Athens
Kim West
ATHENS – The Russellville varsity baseball team wrapped up its second consecutive Class 5A, Area 16 championship with a doubleheader sweep at Athens Tuesday.
Russellville, which beat Athens 9-0 at home Monday, unleashed 32 runs on 32 hits as the Golden Tigers' Torey Baird led the way with two home runs and six RBIs. Russellville still has to play a series against Muscle Shoals next week but the Golden Tigers clinched the championship with by sweeping both Decatur and Athens.
"Decatur and Athens have both beaten Muscle Shoals, and we beat both of them, which helped us win the area early," Russellville coach David Ward said. "Winning the area is one step for us and we get to host the first round of the playoffs.
"Our pitching is coming through right now – we've got to have that pitching – and we started hitting pretty good about seven or 10 games into the season. Athens has a short field, and they were hitting fly balls and we were hitting line drives."
Cory Trapp worked five innings of relief in the first game as Russellville won 12-10 in seven innings.
The Golden Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the first inning but Athens scored five runs in the bottom of the second. Russellville responded with eight more runs over the third and fourth innings to take an 11-5 lead.
The Golden Eagles kept the game close with a two-run fifth and three-run sixth but it wasn't enough as Russellville added an insurance run in the top of the sixth.
Baird drove in three runs and had a double, while cleanup hitter Jacob Daniel went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs and Corey Flanagan and Trapp added two hits apiece.
In the second game, Athens held an 8-5 lead through three innings but Russellville scored twice in the fourth to cut it to 8-7.
The Golden Tigers broke through with 13 runs in the final two innings as Baird, who went 3-for-4, hit a solo shot in the fifth and a two-run homer in the sixth. Seth Rhudy didn't allow a run over the last three innings to earn the victory in relief for Russellville (25-9, 5-0).
Cory Trapp and Jacob Daniel each went 3-for-5, while Jake Ward went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Leadoff hitter Caleb Mitchell finished with three stolen bases in two games, and Matthew Duncan also went 3-for-4.
The Golden Tigers will host Deshler Saturday at 11 a.m.